1/16 Heath "Super Parasol"

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by nx13688, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    After something like 2 1/2 years of work (not continuous, of course), I am finally ready to assemble my latest design - the Heath "Super Parasol" lightplane in 1/16 scale. Why such a large scale? Because the Parasol is a very small plane, 25 ft. (7.6m) span, 17 ft (5.2m) length, and 260 lb. (118kg) weight, so the model is still a not-unreasonable 19in. (48cm) span. I also love detailed engines (see my Bentley BR-2 in the Parts Bin), so the bigger scale helps there.
    Here's a picture of the 1929 original:
    View attachment 1036
    The standard powerplant for the Super Parasol was a 4-cylinder Henderson "De Luxe" motorcycle engine converted by Heath, which provided somewhere between 23 and 27 horsepower.
    View attachment 1037
    Now, on to the model. Here are the 9 sheets, fresh from the printer:
    There are 6 color part sheets, 1 B&W former sheet for laminating to .5mm card, 1 B&W sheet that is 1/2 1mm formers and 1/2 wire part patterns, and 1 sheet of construction diagrams. Here are the diagrams, if you're interested in the construction:
    View attachment 1038
    Start assembly by laminating the formers to the appropriate thick card:
    Follow up by doubling all the parts that need it:
    I added an extra layer of manila folder stock between the layers of the tail surfaces for extra rigidity. On all the doubled parts, I made the color area oversize on 1 side so a slight misalignment won't result in an undersized part or need touch-up on the surface.

    Attached Files:

  2. Firstscout

    Firstscout New Member

    Looks like a blast.. How thick is the card stock that you are using?
  3. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    Parts are printed on 65# cover, most of the formers are laminated to 0.5mm (.022in actual), thick formers are laminated to 1.0mm (double layer of .022in).
  4. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Ryan, very nice! Great to see designs of ultra-lights from the 1930s showing up as cardmodels. Wondering whether a float version is in the works? Being as you're from Wisconsin it makes sense to design and build an Ed Heath design. Could a Baby Bullet be next?

  5. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    For the time being, I'm trying to not start any new design projects, just complete the ones I'm already working on. But I do have a folder on my computer labeled "future projects," and there are pictures of the Baby Bullet in it.:wink:
    Hadn't really thought about a floatplane version. The floats would be simple enough (flat sides and top), but every Parasol floatplane I've seen is a slightly later design with a fuller cowl & spinner, so that would have to be designed, as well as the bigger rudder. If somebody wanted to give the floats a shot, I can provide the plans.
  6. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Great idea for a paper model, Ryan!:)

    Just because I am a curious sort, what type of adhesive do you like to use for lamination? I tend to use a glue stick by 3M, but have used PVA on smaller parts (water base tends to cause a few problems in curling/wrinkling even when I use a very thin coat, so the stick works best for me on the larger parts).

    Looking forward to more on this fantastic build.

  7. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    I use an UHU glue stick for the big parts, and Elmer's for everything else. I weight everything down to dry overnight, and rarely have problems with wrinkling.
  8. FredZ KSAC

    FredZ KSAC Member


    Ryan, Any idea when/if the Heath will become available. Nice looking design.
  9. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    Now, let's start building. Parts F1 thru F5 are scored and cut out. The gray lines on F5 are embossed to make a groove to hold the wing and landing gear brace wires.
    On the back side of F1, a ballpoint pen is used to emboss a groove to the lower corners. This will be used to anchor the forward landing gear brace wires.
    The parts are assembled into the fuselage frame. F2 had to be sanded a bit on the sides.
    Re: Availability, it will be available at some point. When and in what form are TBD at this point.
  10. EricGoedkoop

    EricGoedkoop Member


    Nice job, Ryan.
  11. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    I recommend the Uhu stick too!

    I love the purple color before drying to clear, makes it much better to see if you have applied an even coating and have it all the way to the edges, to prevent de-lamination.

  12. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    Started on the engine last night. The crankcase and cylinders are simple, but the valve box is a little more complex as it also contains the 8 valve lifters and 4 exhaust stacks. Fine soft wire is glued between the top and bottom of the stacks, extending into the box for support when bending the stacks up.
    The intake manifold is given a smooth 90-degree curve, and the timing chain cover is glued on the back of the crankcase.
  13. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    Engine done!
    Front cover added, magneto and its shaft added, and (ugh) the accessory plugs built and added. These are the light-colored objects sticking up from the top of the head, made from 16 pieces, each about 3mm high and slotted together.
    And one more picture for scale:
  14. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    Haven't made much progress in the past couple of days due to discovering some necessary rework. The cockpit was a little too big, and since it's a one-piece box that's completely assembled before being slipped into the fuselage frame, it really needs to fit well.
    I also made a rather fortuitous discovery. Gil asked about the possibility of a float version, and I wasn't too optimistic because I thought the seaplanes were slightly different. Not necessarily so, it turns out. I got to flipping through my 1931 Modern Mechanix Flying & Glider Manual, which has an article and plans for the Parasol floats. I read the article and was pleased to find out that Ed Heath's two prototype seaplane Parasols were adapted from the same two Parasols that he entered in the 1929 National Air Races, which were reg. #'s 598K and (DING DING DING) X299E! So the floats may happen (relatively) soon.
    View attachment 1057
    Looking at the photos in the article, I also discovered the color scheme is wrong on the bottom of the wing, as the colors are actually reversed. AH, vector drawings. Should take about 2 minutes to fix.:)

    Attached Files:

  15. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  16. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Ed Heath Super Parasol - The Heath Story, Article by Roger Lorenzen

    Hi Ryan,

    Awaiting further progress on your beautiful project, we can look at pictures and read and learn about Ed Heath and his motorcycle engine-driven airplanes:


    Keep up the good work!

    Attached Files:

  17. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    Bengt -
    Thanks for the link. It's a nice overview of Heath's life. The story of the Heath company after Ed's death is also interesting. They continued building aircraft for a few more years, but eventually transitioned into an aircraft components supplier, particularly electronic components, and later still to electronics assembly kits. Those of you who have a few years on me are probably familiar with Heathkits. The Heathkit company is still in business, providing electronics hardware for educational settings.

    Anyway, back to the task at hand. I decided to finish the cowl assembly. Start by cutting out C2 to the outline, then taper the edge to the inside of the crosshatched area.
    Next, the C3 (engine bearers) parts are cut out and glued to the sides of the crankcase. C4 and C5 parts are cut out and the engine mount is assembled as shown.
    Cowl skin C1 is now fitted, sanding the outside if C2 until it fits properly. Actually, I should have done the trial-fitting and sanding BEFORE I assembled the engine mount, as the engine and mount make it harder to fit and remove the cowl skin. But, I got the job done.
  18. w1xq

    w1xq New Member


    Looks really neat! Great job! Kinda reminds me of the Pietenpol Air Camper. Can't wait to see finished product! John
  19. nx13688

    nx13688 Member

    Since the underside wing colors are wrong as originally printed, I just assembled one wing panel as a fit check. Everything went together great. Only problems found were the locations of the rib notches for the wing struts that were about 1/16" off. Sorry the color is so close to that of my cutting mat!
  20. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Ed Heath Super Parasol


    That wing looks beautiful - is this wing intended for the Parasol with the dark blue fuselage? (see attached picture below)

    Below is a picture (very small and grainy in b&w) that I found in a magazine that I bought today; Antique Airplane Association NEWS,
    March - April 1968.

    It´s the first airplane picture of about thirty from the OTTUMWA 1967 14th Annual AAA Fly-In.
    The article covers about fifty (of hundreds) of contributing planes, and the first picture shows a Heath Super Parasol!
    I thought it was worth posting. I hope you like it and that it in some way is of interest to your card model project.

    The registration on the tailplane´s vertical stabilizer reads: N 838 W, the same number as is listed on the page.
    Perhaps somebody regognizes the owner´s/pilot´s name?

    best regards,


    (edited in): PS. Looking more closely at your picture of the printed sheets, I discovered that the fuselage of your airplane model is green,
    not dark blue as it is on this:

    Attached Files:

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